WWF-Mondi Water Stewardship Partnership

Circular Economy Forests & Biodiversity

Responsibly managed forestry plantations contributing to wetland conservation

Project Facts

South Africa

Applied Financing Solutions
Grants, Private Equity

Project Dates
Start: 1991
In operation since/from: 2001

The Story

For the future circular bioeconomy, forestry plantations will be indispensable to meet the growing demand for wood and materials derived from it. Well-managed plantations in the right places can help conserve biodiversity and meet human needs.

Initiated in 1991, the WWF-Mondi Water Stewardship Partnership is one of the longest running conservation programs in South Africa. What started out as wetland management activities in isolated forestry plan­tations outside protected areas has been expanded over the years to work at a landscape scale, catalyzing conservation and restoration efforts not only in the forestry industry, but across multiple land uses, including the agricultural sector. The partnership brings together key stakeholders from business, government, local commu­nities and environmental organizations who have a shared interest in landscape stewardship and social-ecological resilience.

The packaging and paper com­pany Mondi, as the primary funder of the WWF-led program since 2001, is committed to implement, develop and promote a “new generation of forestry plantations“ that maintain ecosystem integrity, protect and enhance high conservation values, are developed through effective stakeholder involvement processes and contribute to economic growth and employment.

The eucalyptus plantation realig­nment and withdrawal of commercial trees from wetlands in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site on the east coast of KwaZulu Natal is one showcase example. Today, the plantations form an important buffer between the park, local communities and commercial farming areas, protecting the park’s freshwater flows and wild animals from encroaching development.

Success Factor | Hero Moment

The program approach worked because it was co-created by the forestry industry, environmentalists and the govern­ment. The long development process allowed the different parties to develop a relationship of trust, mutual respect and a common understanding, which were vital factors for the strong collaboration.

WWF - New Generation Plantations, Portugal

Other Involved Stakeholders
WWF, Mondi

Contact Mail


Forestation, Resilience, Conservation, CSR